Member's Area
Indian Ocean Rim Association
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Maritime Safety & Security

Maritime Safety & Security

Background

Maritime Safety and Security is a key area for IORA because a safe, secure Indian Ocean is vital in order to bolster the movement of goods and people amongst our Member States. The countries of the Indian Ocean region are remarkably diverse in terms of size, economic strength, languages and cultures. Member States range from small island states to G20 members. A powerful unifying force is the common bond of an ocean and a common commitment to the prosperity and sustainable development of the region. 

The Indian Ocean faces many traditional and non-traditional security challenges including piracy, illegal fishing, human trafficking, drug smuggling, trafficking of weapons, maritime pollution and climate change. A key priority of IORA is to ensure the reliable, uninterrupted and safe movement of people, goods, energy and resource supplies throughout the Indian Ocean. 

POLICY APPROACH

It has become important for the IORA to consider the development of a regional maritime vision or strategy incorporating capacity-building programmes to effectively address the issues of maritime safety and security. The strategy should be integrated, inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary, and should aim at promoting a maritime industry that is innovative, competitive and environment-friendly. It should also include mechanisms for optimising coordination, cooperation and dialogue between policymakers, private sectors and scientific communities in Member States. 

IORA should build upon existing national, regional and multilateral measures to enhance coordination and should support a harmonised implementation of international maritime safety and security regulations to address the issues related to maritime safety and security. Resources should be utilised more effectively for enhanced cross-border co-operation and in the sharing of knowledge, experiences and best practices. 

Exchange of information, capacity building and the provision of technical assistance amongst IORA Member States is an important element for cooperation in enhancing the political will to address the challenges of maritime safety and security.  The establishment of a regular forum for dialogue between stakeholders on security and safety should therefore be further explored. 

Co-operation between public and private stakeholders could promote harmonisation and implementation of maritime safety and security regulations and would foster innovation and initiatives towards creating a common information-sharing environment for maritime security. It is recognized that the strength of the maritime industry lies in its entrepreneurship and ability to innovate.

IORA may also look into the greater involvement of external stakeholders and other regional and sub-regional groupings. IORA could also consider collaborating with relevant UN Agencies such as UNEP, IOC-UNESCO, etc. 

The issues surrounding the protection and use of the ocean are trans-boundary in nature and require stronger cooperation among our Member States. The establishment of an IORA Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment and the proposal of Seychelles to establish a hub for environmental research (marine and terrestrial) for the Western Indian Ocean are pragmatic steps to protect and manage our ocean sustainably. 

Institutional cooperation and creating synergies between the institutions in the IORA is important to strengthen and expand the existing networking between the Member States. Arrangements for maritime search and rescue in the Indian Ocean should be strengthened and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to cover joint patrolling by maritime security forces could be developed. 

Recent Events

Event Date Venue Document

Second IORA Bue Economy Core Group Workshop on
"Maritime Connectivity and Financing for Development in
the Indian Ocean Rim" 

13-14 July 2016 Qingdao, China -

Meeting of Experts on Maritime Safety and Security

13-14 October 2015 New Delhi, India -

IORA Blue Economy Core Group Workshop on
"Promoting Fisheries & Aquaculture and Maritime Safety
& Security Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region" 

4-5 May 2015 Durban, South Africa -

IORA Maritime Security, Regulation and Enforcement Workshop

2-13 June 2014 University of Wollongong,
New South Wales, Australia 
-

Workshop on "IORA and Strategic Stability in the Indian Ocean"

5 March 2014 Ebene, Mauritius -